Karen M. Sowers, Ph.D.

Retired, Dean of the College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Karen M. Sowers, Ph.D. is Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Social Work. She was appointed the Beaman Professor and Dean of the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in August 1997 and retired from that position in August 2017. She served as Director of the School of Social Work at Florida International University from June 1994 to August 1997 and as the Undergraduate Program Director of the School of Social Work at Florida International University from 1986 to 1994. She received her baccalaureate degree in Sociology from the University of Central Florida in 1974, the Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University in 1977, and the Ph.D. in Social Work from Florida State University in 1986. Dr. Sowers has served on numerous local, national and international boards. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Florida State University and the Mental Health of America’s 2016 George Goodman and Ruth P. Brudney Social Work Award. She is a scholar fellow with the National Academies of Practice. Dr. Sowers is nationally known for her research and scholarship in the areas of international practice, juvenile justice, child welfare, cultural diversity and culturally effective intervention strategies for social work practice, evidence-based social work practice and social work education. She has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters and refereed journal articles. She has served as a founding editorial board member of the Journal of Research on Social Work Practice and founding co-editor of Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal. She continues to serve on numerous editorial boards and state and national social service boards.